Politics
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 24:  U.S. President Barack Obama delivers his State of the Union address before a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill January 24, 2012 in Washington, DC. The president made a populist pitch to voters for economic fairness, saying the federal government should more do to balance the benefits of a capitalist society.  (Photo by Saul Loeb-Pool/Getty Images) WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 24: U.S. President Barack Obama delivers his State of the Union address before a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill January 24, 2012 in Washington, DC. The president made a populist pitch to voters for economic fairness, saying the federal government should more do to balance the benefits of a capitalist society. (Photo by Saul Loeb-Pool/Getty Images)  

During State of the Union, Obama to claim economic benefits from progressive goals

Neil Munro
White House Correspondent

Even before that bad economic news was released, a Gallup poll showed that Obama’s progressive goals were a low priority for Americans.

That January poll asked people to identify the most important problem America faces. While 21 percent tagged the economy, 20 percent identified the deficit, and 16 percent cited unemployment, only 7 percent of respondents identified either guns or immigration as top issues. Obama has pushed both in January and February.

Only 4 percent said guns were the top problem, while 3 percent identified immigration, said Gallup. The firm did not ask respondents about global warming, which Obama identified as a top issue in his inauguration speech.

Economic pessimism has grown recently, creating a greater obstacle to Obama’s second-term ambitions.

For example, only 12 percent of Americans believe the economy will rebound to pre-recession levels by 2014, according to a mid-January poll of 1,09 people by Rutgers University’s Center for Workforce Development.

That poll showed that 34 percent believe a full recovery will happen around 2017, but 54 percent believe it will not recover for at least six years. More than half that 54 percent believe the national economy will not fully recover, said the report.

So far, Obama is maintaining a positive approval rating of 52 percent, with a 43 percent disapproval, according to a February poll by Gallup.

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